written by Archs. Rodolfo and Ana Ventura
The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, headed by the Regent Rev. Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P. and Dean Dra. Maria Lourdes Maglinao, and with Dr. Larry King as the FMS Simulation director, will begin the construction of the St. Cosmas and St. Damian Simulation and Research Building very soon.
Despite the several twists and turns in its planning in the past years and some uncertainty during the pandemic, it is finally a go. The primary objective for the Building is to provide Thomasian medical students with state-of-the-art facilities for the simulation of hospital activities and patient care using medical manikins as learning tools. There will be provisions for simulation of ICUs, wards, OB delivery room, operating theatre, and consultation rooms. Students will be able to take active participation in an environment of experiential learning while being closely monitored by the esteemed faculty. There will also be provision for offices and activity areas for the Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc., medical academic researchers, and the alumni.
The proposed Simulation and Research Building will be located at the empty rectangular lot adjacent to the Tan Yan Kee Student Center, the Miguel de Benavides Central Library and the Benavides High School Building. With roads along the perimeter of the lot, the Building is an island setting with the opportunity to feature four different but related façade designs.
Located parallel and adjacent to the busy Dapitan Street, the 7-floor Building will be a standout structure visible to all passers-by. The Building features a prominent Latin inscription on the façade along Dapitan Street, which translates to “Honor the physician; his works are necessary, but God is the one who brings the power of life and death.” This Building will be a tribute to the Catholic medical education of the University of Santo Tomas, where it was first offered in the Philippines and has since been recognized as the country’s premier medical school.
The corner of its façade along Osmena drive and parallel to Dapitan St. will be the focal point that greets all who enters the campus through the Dapitan gate. The use of reflective corner glass will provide the hint of student activity within and outside the Building, complemented by the random vertical silver gray aluminum fins that create the impression of positive upward movement. This focal corner will be distinctly outlined by the University’s trademark yellow.
With the extensive use of glass for all facades, the Building will evoke transparency from within, modernity and innovation – the direction that the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is now actively pursuing. The Building exteriors will also feature vertical aluminum sun breakers, which while being functional in itself, will evoke verticality and suggest growth and reaching up to new heights with the innovation in the study of medicine. Expanses of concrete walls will evoke stability, solidity and timelessness. The use of horizontal and vertical concrete fins extending up and around the facades interrelates and embraces the building’s exterior facades into a cohesive design.
The Building interiors will simulate the feel and ambiance of a modern hospital in order to provide the proper setting of learning for future doctors. Transparency by the use of glass will provide the feeling of expanse and space despite the limitation in the Building’s footprint. Careful and thoughtful study of utilities was done to ensure that the Building’s functionality will be easily maintained in the years to come.
About the writers:
Ar. Rodolfo P. Ventura, MS is currently the Dean of UST’s College of Architecture. Together with his wife, Ar. Ana Ventura, he heads his architectural firm CA Ventura and Partners. Their team is in charge of the design of the upcoming Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Building.